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Rain Shadow Trekking Tour

Join us on the Rain Shadow Trekking Tour!

13 days, 12 nights

Nepal holds many cultural and natural treasures that will transport you to a different world. This trekking excursion will take you to Lower Mustang, a mysterious place forbidden to travelers until relatively recently and dramatically different from the fertile hill country on the southern side of the Himalayas. The Mustang people primarily follow Tibetan Buddhism, but in the small village of Lubra (also called Ludak), you’ll find remnants of an older religion, Bon.

A quick flight to Jomsom from Pokhara brings you to the center of Tibetan culture and the Himalayas’ wonders. This trip allows you to immerse yourself and witness some extraordinarily unique parts of Nepal, with a landscape, culture, history, and religious traditions separate from what you’ll find elsewhere. Our itineraries are entirely customizable to meet your travel style, needs, and interests. Let’s explore Nepal together!

Day 1

Welcome to Nepal! Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, you’ll meet a representative from Off Season Adventures. You will be transferred to your hotel and given a brief introduction to the country. In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy welcome drinks at your hotel and receive a briefing about the trekking experience ahead from your guide.

  • Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) and meet a representative of the Off Season Adventures team
  • Transfer to accommodation
  • Afternoon at your leisure
  • Dinner a la carte
  • Overnight at Hotel Traditional Stay (Boutique) or Timila Hotel (Luxury)

Day 2

Begin your Nepal journey with some sightseeing around Kathmandu. Visit Swayambhunath, or the Monkey Temple, one of the holiest Buddhist locations in the country. The site also includes many Hindu relics and temples, demonstrating the peace and harmony that this place represents. After taking in the stunning views from the temple, head to Kathmandu Durbar Square. You’ll start the tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site with a rickshaw ride through Kathamandu Thamel and the spice market of Ason. Once in the square, you might be fortunate enough to see the living goddess of Nepal Kumari.

Day 3

This morning take a short flight from Kathmandu to the tranquil city of Pokhara. Its location was a once vibrant trade route between India and Tibet. You can still see mule trains camped on the outskirts of town, bringing goods to trade from the Himalayas’ remote regions. Upon arrival, you’ll participate in some sightseeing, including the world peace stupa, David’s Falls, and Gupteshwor cave. End the day with a peaceful boat ride on Phewa Lake.

Day 4

Today will begin your trekking experience. Take a short flight from Pokhara to Mustang, Jomson. The valley of Jomsom is very windy and, at times, can feel like the desert. The area will surround you with some of the world’s highest mountains, including peaks like Nilgiri and Tilicho. You will meet your porters here and begin the first hike to the Mustang Bon Community Homestay. These homestays provide a small break from trekking and allow you to engage with the Nepalese people and enjoy some local home comforts.

Day 5

After breakfast, you’ll head out on a unique wildlife experience. Your expert guide will take you trekking to find the rare and elusive snow leopard. Lower Mustang is home to some of Nepal’s estimated 300-500 Himalayan snow leopards, a rare and very well-camouflaged big cat that lives in the mountains. Your guide will lead you on a 5-6 hour trek where they will share the wealth of knowledge they have about these animals. Along the way, you will also enjoy the beautiful views of the Mustang landscape, with the enormous, snow-capped peaks of Mt. Nilgiri (7061 meters) and Mt. Tilicho (7134 meters) beyond. Whether or not you’re successful in seeing the difficult-to-spot cats, you’ll see a range of other wildlife and birds and can enjoy a day of physical activity surrounded by some of the world’s highest mountains.

Day 6

Today’s 5-6 hour trek will lead you to Muktinath. You’ll take the trail along the Kali Gandaki, which has long been a trade route between India and Tibet. You’ll share the trail with horse, mule, and pony caravans. Led by Thakhali or Tibetan men, the lead horses are adorned with great plumes and headdresses, and the musical sound of their bells is a constant companion. You’ll also visit Muktinath’s temple. Although dedicated to Vishnu, it is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists, and many ascetic sadhus gather here.

  • Breakfast at your homestay
  • Hike to Muktinath (5-6 hours)
  • Lunch & dinner a la carte
  • Overnight at a Basic Tea House

Day 7

This morning make your way from Muktinath to Marpha. This 7-8 hour trek will take you through terrain that resembles Tibet. Marpha is a lovely Thakali village composed of white stone houses, flat roofs (for drying grain and vegetables), and narrow paved alleys. This town is also known for its apples and is the apple capital of Nepal.

  • Breakfast at your tea house (a la carte)
  • Trek to Marpha (7-8 hours)
  • Lunch & diner a la carte
  • Overnight at a Basic Tea House

Day 8

After breakfast, begin your trek to Ghasa. The hike will take approximately 7 hours and will allow you to see the Himalayan rain shadow. This area is on the leeward side of the mountains, away from wind and precipitation. It creates a “shadow” of dryness. The village of Ghasa, on the other hand, has a lot of greenery and open space. This evening you can enjoy your surroundings and relax at your tea house.

  • Breakfast at your tea house (a la carte)
  • Trek to Ghasa (6-7 hours)
  • Lunch & dinner a la carte
  • Overnight at a Basic Tea House

Day 9

Today is your last day of trekking, and you will make the journey from Ghasa to Tatopani. You will descend through the Kali Gandaki River valley and take in the beautiful views. Time permitting, you will be able to visit a hot springs pool to ease your tiredness. This evening you will spend the night at the Narchyang Community Homestay, known for breathtaking views and beautiful trails. The Magar people also populate this area. These people have a unique language, Magar Kura, and are known for their innocence and bravery.

  • Breakfast at your tea house (a la carte)
  • Trek to Tatopani (6-7 hours)
  • Lunch a la carte
  • Overnight and dinner at Narchyang Community Homestay

Day 10

After breakfast, you will make the journey back to Pokhara. Part of the way, you will be doing some off-roading, which can be an exciting experience in the Himalayas. Enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Day 11

Today is at your leisure to enjoy Pokhara. There are activities you can participate in and hikes you can do in the area, or you can relax and take in the beauty of Phewa Lake. You can also rest at your hotel and enjoy a spa treatment.

Day 12

This morning take a short flight from Pokhara back to Kathmandu. In the afternoon, you will visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square. This UNESCO World Heritage Site maintains some of its ancient way of life and gives you a picture of what the Kathmandu Valley must have been like during the medieval period. The square has remarkable architecture and exquisite wood carvings. Head back to your hotel for dinner.

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu
  • Lunch & dinner a la carte
  • Overnight at Hotel Traditional Stay (Boutique) or Timila Hotel (Luxury)

Day 13

Today marks the end of our journey. Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before heading to the airport for your flight home. Are you not finished with your Nepal experience? Ask us how you can extend your stay!

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) for your trip home

We are happy to customize additional day excursions before or after this tour if you want to get more out of your journey. Possible additions include yoga and wellness retreats, Chitwan National Park, biking excursions, and so much more!

Contact Us Today

What’s Included?

  • Your local, experienced driver with many years of guiding tours in Nepal
  • Lodging in Nepal
  • Flights as indicated on the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary
  • All cultural activities and excursions on the itinerary
  • Contribution to the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization Second Look Worldwide
  • Waters while in transit, excluding while in the airports
  • Driver transfers to and from airports
  • Wire Transfer and other banking fees

What’s Not Included?

  • International flights to & from Nepal
  • Tips for your drivers, tour guides, and lodges, highly encouraged
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Traveler’s insurance, highly encouraged
  • Souvenirs and gifts
  • Baggage weight overages, if applicable
  • Any incidental expenses
  • Anything from room service or the hotel minibar
  • Any visas required for entry into Nepal
  • Any Covid-19 tests required for entry into Nepal

Boutique Accommodations

Hotel Traditional Comfort – 3 nights, Bed & Breakfast Basis

Bodhi Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa – 3 nights, Bed & Breakfast Basis

Mustang Bon Community Homestay – 2 nights, Full Room & Board Basis

Narchyang Community Homestay – 1 night, Full Room & Board Basis

Basic Tea House (trek) – 3 nights, Bed only

Luxury Accommodations

Timila Hotel – 3 nights, Bed & Breakfast Basis

Temple Tree Resort & Spa – 3 nights, Bed & Breakfast Basis

Mustang Bon Community Homestay – 2 nights, Full Room & Board Basis

Narchyang Community Homestay – 1 night, Full Room & Board Basis

Basic Tea House (trek) – 3 nights, Bed only

Next Steps

Contact us to customize this itinerary and start planning your Nepal journey!